President Donald Trump this week declared the Democrats’ proposal “DOA.”
Similar to the first major coronavirus aid package signed into law in late March, the 1,815-page HEROES Act would provide up to $1,200 in payments (or $2,400 for married couples), with an extra $1,200 per dependent up to a maximum of three. The income thresholds are the same as in the earlier CARES Act, with money for people making up to $99,000 and couples up to $198,000. The amount would start to reduce from $1,200 above thresholds of $75,000 and $150,000, respectively.
The bill passed by a vote of 208-199 and now heads to the Senate.
To allow access to the payments for immigrants, the measure removes the requirement of a Social Security number from CARES Act and allows people to file tax returns with a taxpayer identification number (or TIN).
The HEROES legislation also includes:
-Nearly $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments
-Extending $600-per-week addition for unemployment benefits through January 2021
-Expanded coronavirus testing, contact tracing and treatment and a requirement for the Trump administration to develop a national testing strategy
-Enhancing tax credits for employers to keep workers on their payrolls
-Support to help renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments
-$10 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to support anticipated increases in participation for food stamps
-$3.6 billion for grants to states for contingency planning and preparation for elections for federal office
The House on Friday also passed a resolution to temporarily change House rules to allow for proxy voting and remote committee work during the pandemic, an unprecedented shift to how the chamber operates. It passed mostly along party lines.
In a letter to House Democrats on Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., urged her colleagues to vote in favor of the HEROES legislation, asking them to consider young people who are “missing the thrill of their in-person graduations.”